I respect Tony Blair, but he may err too much on the side of diplomacy to caretake the US. (We could use improvement in diplomacy, but not the rolling over type...)
He might make a very good vice-president, though
Why do you think most Americans aren't following most other leaders, while other country's citizens do? I hope you don't say lack of intelligence in the US... I think it is more lack of interest. But, why are we so disinterested?
Ooh, I dont know whether I wanna be getting into that particular can of worms ... <grins>
OK, let me make a random attempt. I should.
First of all, you are (or were) in the relatively comfortable position of not necessarily needing
to know much about other countries' politics. Sure, national interests
may have been at stake here or there all the time, but since the Soviet Union collapsed there hadnt been any direct threat to the US itself
- there was never much the need to fret about the immediate safety of your village, your state. Even the Soviet threat was more of the abstract, global kind. When's the last time there was war on mainland American territory? When your parents and/or grandparents experienced war around their own home, you tend to become a bit more aware of whats going on in the countries around you.
Of course, 9/11 should have changed all that. And one of the things that touched me, back then, reading Abuzz for example, was that even in the immediate aftermath of such a horrible attack, people were sincerely asking themselves - why do they hate us so much? The fact that they needed to ask
- that they were so bafflingly unaware of the extents and causes of hate and resentment of the US in the world (leaving aside for a moment whether or not those were indeed the background of Al-Qaeda's agression; I don't think so) may have been exasperating - but the fact that they asked
, at a time when instinct would have you just grabbing for the nearest missile, struck me deeply. Perhaps 9/11 did kindle more of an interest in foreign politics.
What else? Perhaps there is ... <trying to be very cautious> ... a sincere belief that Americans do
know best ... they're the richest, after all, the most powerful, their culture the most pervasive - so that must mean they are right; a sincere belief, thus, that there isn't
actually anything to be learned in modesty from other countries - not when it comes to politics
, in any case. Which kind of attitude is usually perceived as crude arrogance elsewhere in the world of course, not to mention the extent to which it baffles Europeans - used to proportional representation and multi-party systems - when they look at that supposedly superior American democracy ... :wink:
Anyway, I'm glad you came up with Walesa. In line with the above, many Americans (at least here on A2K and on Abuzz) also seem to think Regan liberated countries like Poland. Without wanting to deny the role of international politics, I think such posters should be reminded of people like Walesa as often as possible.